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HP’s new Chromebase All-in-One desktop is a striking iMac alternative

HP has a new all-in-one desktop to take on Apple’s newly redesigned 24-inch M1 iMac computer. This time, the company is teaming up with Google to bring Chrome OS to its 21.5-inch Chromebase, an elegant all-in-one featuring a swiveling display, a conical speaker that doubles as the desktop’s floating stand, and a touchscreen. The latter is a feature that isn’t supported on any MacOS-powered computer to date.

The biggest highlight of HP’s Chromebase is that’s designed for your home and can quickly be used for entertainment and productivity. The 21.5-inch FHD display floats on top of the conical speaker, which serves as the stand. Additionally, you can rotate the screen between portrait and landscape modes.

HP Chromebase features a conical speaker stand design.

This makes HP’s Chromebase the first Chrome OS-powered desktop to feature a fully rotating display.

The feature could be useful for select Android apps that only support portrait orientation, for example, and for e-reading and coding. And when you’re done, you can easily switch back to landscape view by rotating the screen.

A rotating screen is one of HP's Chromebase's signature design features.

While the Chromebase doesn’t sport the same flat and angular aesthetic as its more popular rival, the design of HP’s Chromebase is still striking. The speaker stand also features Bang & Olufsen-tuned audio as well as a dual-array digital microphone to summon Google Assistant.

To make things clean, all the ports — you get four USB-A ports and two USB-C ports — are located on the back of the speaker stand. HP includes a white wireless keyboard and mouse with the Chromebase.

The company also brought some hardware privacy controls from its other PC products, including a 5-megapixel front-facing webcam with a physical privacy shutter.

Ports are located on the rear for connectivity on the HP Chromebase.

With Chrome OS under the hood, you’re also getting access to a whole library of Android apps through the Google Play Store as well as access to Stadia on Chromebooks for game streaming. All of this is powered by a dual-core 2.4GHz Intel Pentium Gold 6405U processor alongside 64GB of built-in eMMC storage, 4GB of DDR4 memory, and an extra M.2 expansion slot for expansion.

HP’s Chromebase 21.5-inch All-in-One Desktop is expected to be available starting next month with a starting price of $599. The device will be sold through HP’s online store as well as through U.S. retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

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Chuong Nguyen
Silicon Valley-based technology reporter and Giants baseball fan who splits his time between Northern California and Southern…
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